MINOT — A mixture of cheers, truck horns, and patriotic music was heard on Minot’s south edge Thursday morning. Several semi-trucks pulled away from Schatz Crossroads Truck Stop, destined to join the Freedom Convoy in Washington, D.C.
The national movement of truckers is patterned after the recent truck convoy that swept across Canada in protest of government imposed mandates, such as the wearing of masks to combat COVID-19. The truckers departing Minot were to travel to Bismarck, and then to Fargo, before spending the night in Saulk Center, Minnesota.
Among the many flag waving spectators present for the sendoff was Chuck Stewart, Tioga.
“You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for everything,” said Stewart. “I figured I’d come and support these gentlemen and women on their trek.”
With songs like Lee Greenwood’s Proud to be an American and Johnny Cash’s rendition of a Ragged Old Flag drifting across the flag waving crowd, it was an emotional scene.
“As a veteran this means the world to me. This is what I fought for,” said Pastor Erik Burdick, Minot. “I think what these truckers are doing is important for our freedom. They are speaking for Americans. We’ve got several pastors out here.”
Tony Heath, Granville, was among the supporters who showed up to the mid-morning gathering. He was happy to find many like-minded people doing the same thing.
“It feels great to be out here,” said Heath. “I’ve met up with a lot of church friends and family, great to be out here lovin’ on each other and praying for each other.”
Minoter Charles Tuttle said the Freedom Convoy was about exactly that – freedom and fighting back against what he called government control. He also noted the display of patriotism.
“That’s what America is about. We have to bring patriotism back into our schools, to our children, everything,” said Tuttle. “In a world where we aren’t leading, nobody’s leading but evil.”
Truckers from across the U.S. have their destination as Washington, D.C. Various convoys will be converging for entry into the nation’s capital. Trucks that departed here Thursday morning are scheduled to arrive in Mogantown, West Virginia March 6 before continuing to D.C.